Humanity and Nature in Economic Thought: Searching for the Organic Origins of the Economy argues that organic elements seen as incompatible with rational homo economicus have been left out of, or downplayed in, mainstream histories of economic thought.

The chapters show that organic aspects (that is, aspects related to sensitive, cognitive or social human qualities) were present in the economic ideas of a wide range of important thinkers including Hume, Smith, Malthus, Mill, Marshall, Keynes, Hayek and the Polanyi brothers. Moreover, the contributors to this thought-provoking volume reveal in turn that these aspects were crucial to how these key figures thought about the economy.

This stimulating collection of essays will be of interest to advanced students and scholars of the history of economic thought, economic philosophy, heterodox economics, moral philosophy and intellectual history.

chapter 1|2 pages


chapter 2|21 pages

Sympathies for common ends

The principles of organization in Hume's psychology and political economy 1

chapter 4|48 pages

Malthusianism in and out of Darwinism

Naturalising society and moralising nature? 1

chapter 9|24 pages

The politics of naturalizing the economy

Organic aspects in the economic thought of Karl and Michael Polanyi 1